Dark haired model Maggie McGivern was dating a photographer when in 1966 she embarked on a secret relationship with one of the most famous men in the world.
She had just taken on a steady job working for Marianne Faithful and John Dunbar, as the nanny to their little boy Nicholas, and it was while taking care of Nicholas in Marianne's third floor Chelsea flat that she first encountered Paul McCartney. He buzzed the intercom to ask if John (Dunbar) was around, and when Paul explained who he was, Maggie invited him straight up.
"Paul ran up the stairs and came in. Very casually I told him that John wasn't really in - and that sent us both into hysterics. We were laughing and chatting. I made a nice lunch for Marianne and a bunch of her friends but they never showed up. Paul and I sat together and ate it instead. I'll never forget the meal - it was chicken casserole. It was such a funny introduction that it threw us both off guard. It could have been very embarrassing, but there was an immediate rapport and we just couldn't stop talking."
Their three year courtship didn't begin straight away though.
"It was a gradual thing. From that point on Paul kept coming up to the flat. he was very good friends with John but I knew he was coming to see me. He would ring and ask if anyone was there and if there wasn't he would come up. We used to talk about lots of things but it was obvious to both of us that our other relationships were not going well."
Six months after their first meeting Maggie says their friendship turned into love. Paul had been recording the Revolver album and arrived at the flat with John Dunbar and some friends to listen to some demo tapes of it.
"There was something in the air that night and that's how it all started. He ended up staying the night and we went to bed. It was wonderful. The next morning was one of the most precious moments of my life. We didn't say much but it was such a tranquil, pleasant feeling - made all the more so because we left things unsaid. He stayed with me until lunchtime and we chatted and larked about. Everything with Paul was so natural. From that moment on he used to come round regularly."
Paul was 23 and Maggie just 20 and both still in other relationships at this point which didn't seem a god start. There was also the added pressure of Paul's fame, but despite their young age they were sensible enough to think up logical solutions to their predicament.
"Our relationship was a secret from day one, at first because we didn't want Jane to find out, and later because we preferred it like that. We hardly ever went to parties. We would occasionally go to restaurants but normally we'd walk his dogs in Regents Park or go for drives in the country. We craved isolation and I for one did not want to become and overnight superstar - I certainly wasn't ready for that emotionally."
In order for the young couple to stay together and let their relationship evolve it was essential that it remained a secret, and even a short break with friends took a great deal of forward thinking. In the first year of their relationship the couple took a trip to Paris with John Lennon and Brian Epstein, all four of them flying seperately, their seperately timed arrivals at least allowing them to stay in the same hotel together where Paul and Maggie shared a very luxurious suite.
"It was a marvellous holiday... just walking around the streets of paris. My abiding memory is of me, John and Paul lying under the Eiffel Tower, gazing up at it. We couldn't go up because we would have been recognised, and we were masters of the art of avoiding people... We spent more time with John than we did with George and Ringo - we hardly saw them at all."
Even when they returned home their meetings had to be planned with a simular strategy.
"I don't believe celebrities when they say they can't keep affairs secret. We managed it quite well for more than three years... Throughout the relationship we never met in obvious places. we would go to places like auction rooms in South Kensington, and say 'whoops - fancy meeting you here'... I never told any friends we were seeing each other - that was an unspoken rule. My mum and dad knew, but not in any detail."
Girls all over the world had dreams of marrying Paul McCartney, but this one girl that was actually close enough to possibly achieve it never gave it a moments thought. She was beginning to see Paul as a "permanent fixture" in her life but never planned any further than just spending time with him when and where she could.
"I know it sounds strange but I didn't really regard it as a big deal. They were mad times and the world was changing. People look back on it now as an era- but all we were doing was living it. I knew in my heart that Paul was a real family man - working at Marianne's we used to spend hours just looking at little Nicholas. It was obvious Paul wanted children but, at that stage, I was in no way ready for it. I was a free spirit."
As well as taking care of Nicholas, Maggie was involved in modelling and acting. Her frequent modelling assignments abroad meant that Paul had to make all the effort of going after her which is unusual in Rock'n'Roll relationships. He was no longer touring with The Beatles so it turned out that he was the one sat at home waiting for a convenient moment to see her while she jetted around the world.
"When we were having our love affair, I hardly phoned him. He used to find me wherever I was and that was fine as far as I was concerned. He did tell me that Jane Asher had moved in with him at his house in St John's Wood and I remember saying that it meant nothing to me. Throughout the relationship I never pursued him - I just didn't think abut him having other women. My view on relationships has always been that if something works, it works. If it's meant to be, let it be. Besides which, I had a busy life and I was very busy living it."
After working for John and Marianne for 18 months she left to set up an antiques stall in Chelsea Market, but spent little time in the flat she was now sharing in Chelsea as she was still busy modelling and even had a part as an extra in the cult sixties film Blow-Up. Paul supposedly wanted her to appear in the Beatles TV film Magical Mystery Tour but couldn't find her in time to ask her as she was already away on an asignment.
They had been together a year now and things between Maggie and Paul were staring to get quite serious. They were no longer just arranging meetings around London, she was now spending a lot of time over at his house.
"By this time I knew that I was in love with him, and I knew he loved me, too... I used to spend many nights at his house in St John's Wood. It was a beautiful Regency house, and his garden was full of Alice In Wonderland characters built in stone. We spent many romantic times there. At the end of the garden was a glass-topped, circular, domed building where we meditated. I'll never forget the first time he showed me that place. We went inside the dome and he told me to stand on the floor. Suddenly, the floor started rising and there I was, up in the air, looking at the stars. That's what it was like, you see. By the time he and The Beatles were into the Maharishi and that whole scene, so was I - there were amazing parallels in our personalities."
In 1968, Paul's realtionship with Jane Asher was having major problems. Maggie had moved into her own place and Paul seemed to be trying to create a normal steady relationship with her where they could go to places together and spend time with his inner circle instead of the scattered solitary meetings in quiet locations they had enjoyed previously.
"By September 1968 I had rented a flat on my own in Fawcett Street, Chelsea. I really wanted to live alone. I hadn't been there long when one day I got a telegram at my flat from Paul. It said: 'Flying to the sun. Car picking you up at 8pm. Love Paul'. I was so excited because I had no idea where we were going. A car drew up and we went to pick up Paul at St John's Wood. As he came out he took an Instamatic Camera from a fan, who was camped outside his house, and told us he was borrowing it to take on holiday. Paul had hired a private jet so no one would spot us. There was a proper lounge, no rows of seats - we were drinking champagne and laughing and joking with a male cousin of Paul, and his American girlfriend. I kept asking him where we were going but he refused to tell me."
Paul had booked a holiday in Sardinia with a hotel room overlooking the ocean and frequent visits to restaurants where they were "treated like royalty". A banquet in their honor was held by one prestigious party where all of the guests were in evening wear and Maggie walked in wearing a T-shirt dress to be confronted by a room full of ladies in ballgowns. "Paul and I just collapsed in giggles. We thought it was hilarious".
Many happy hours were spent lazing around on the beach, and this was where their relationship began to take a different course.
"We were lying on the beach just being young and in love. Paul turned to me, smiling, and out of the blue he just said: ‘Have you ever thought about getting married?’. I said, ‘yes, I suppose, one day...’ and I thought nothing more of it. Looking back, it was obviously the wrong answer. When I said one day I I meant in six months, maybe, but not never. But Paul was always slightly insecure and probably saw me as such a free spirit that he thought I was never going to settle down... I suppose I assumed that we would end up together but at the time I was just enjoying it all. In the 'Sixties there was just so much going on that I didn't have time to sit and think about the future. I suppose that, with the pressures of fame, Paul was craving security."
While on the sands, the couple were also photographed together by a photographer who sold the picture to a Sunday newspaper back in Britain. It appeared along with a report describing Maggie as Paul’s new girlfriend. She confirmed that they had been going out together, and suddenly their relationship was no longer a private affair.
"On the way home we were singing Those Were The Days and falling around laughing. I went back to Paul’s house with him - I distinctly remember waltzing around the rooms with him.”
The couple continued to see one another but it soon became clear that their discussion on the beach had led Paul to go looking for the security he craved elsewhere.
"One day, a little after we returned from Sardinia, I rang Paul - and Linda answered the phone. I had seen a newspaper story about him having lunch with her before that, but I wasn't the type to ask questions or get jealous. I remember Paul telling Linda to get off the phone and I asked him who she was and what was happening. He said: 'I don't know the scene, man. I don't know what's going on'."
A while later Maggie recived a very late night and perculiar visit from Paul.
"He was really down and I couldn't sem to get a word out of him. He was crying and I knew he had been stressed. I stood and held him and asked him to tell me what was wrong. Then suddenly he jumped up and said he had to go. Somehow I knew when I closed the door that night I wouldn't see him again."
Only two days had gone by before Maggie discovered that Paul and Linda had married when she saw the headline on a newspaper billboard on King's Road.
"My heart just thumped. I couldn't believe it. He never told me he was getting married and he never told me our relationship was over. I didn't contact him for ages. I had never pursued him and I wasn't going to start then. Not many people knew we were going out together in the first place so there was no point in telling them it was over. Obviously, I told my mum and dad but not even they knew the depth of my suffering and depression. Looking back, I think I was in serious shock and it didn't come out properly until years later... I'm the type to move on and live my life and not regret anything, but obviously I still feel the pain. I kick myself for that day on the beach in Sardinia."
In the early seventies, Maggie began a relationship with another musician, Denny Laine, and after Denny joined Paul's group Wings she came into contact with Paul again.
"It was a very emotional meeting and we had a great big hug. We were standing there gripping each other when their was a tap on his shoulder. We turned round and it was Linda. Paul told her who I was and she said she had heard about me. Ther was, of course, an unfriendly atmosphere and we didn't get a chance to have a real conversation."
Maggie was dating Mel Collins when she ran into Paul again. It was a difficult meeting and Maggie recalled "a lot of sarcastic comments towards me.". Thankfully she was very happy with her current love life and in 1974 fell pregnant with her and Mel's child, Naiama. The couple married and six years passed before she bumped into Paul during a Christmas shopping spree in Harvey Nichols with her young daughter. Maggie was was just admiring herself in the mirror after trying on a new dress in the store when Paul walked past.
"I was looking at myself in the mirror when a voice said: 'That looks great'. It was Paul... he was buying Christmas presents for Linda. We got talking for a little while and then just said our goodbyes. We never discussed the relationship or anything like that."
It seemed that their earlier spark together that had created such a great rapport was now completely gone. But in 1984 she bumped Paul for the last time at a film studio and discovered that they could still get on very well when his wife was not there with him.
"He's a different person when he's with her. But, to give Linda credit, although we were still uneasy we chatted amiably about horses and things like that. I suppose after years of marriage and several children, there was no need for any nastiness."
Maggie has now dyed her long dark hair a shade of honey blonde and lives in Brighton where she works as a Rollerblade Instructor. The story of her life with Paul only really came out properly when her mother, Everlyn, confirmed it to the Daily Mail in 1997. Maggie reluctantly agreed to an interview in order to clear up a few incorrect facts, saying that she would always care for Paul and desperately wanted to avoid upsetting him and his wife Linda, who was ill at the time.
SOURCES: 1997 interview, various Beatles and McCartney biographies, general books on the London scene during the swinging sixties.